TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged Nato ally the US to get its troops out of north-western Syria yesterday, accusing it of having “calculations” against “regional powers.”
Mr Erdogan addressed MPs from his ruling AKP party in parliament, a day after the Pentagon said it was pulling troops out of Iraq — to Afghanistan — after declaring victory over Isis.
"The US says that they have cleared Daesh from Syria," he said, using the Arabic acronym for Isis. “Why are you still here?"
He attacked ongoing Pentagon support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which contradicts previous claims by US President Donald Trump that he would stop arming them. The US backed the YPG’s war against Isis in northern Syria, while Turkey has invaded Afrin in order to crush Kurdish forces it regards as terrorist.
YPG spokesman Sipan Hamo said the Syrian government had allowed its guerillas through its lines to reinforce isolated Afrin, along with sending food and medical aid.
The Syrian army liberated 29 towns and villages from Isis as they reduced an encircled pocket in north-east Hama province.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported yesterday that Syrian and Russian government forces launched a new wave of air raids, killing dozens of people just outside Damascus.
The onslaught came a day after air strikes battered Syrian opposition areas, killing more than 28 people around the country. Syrian government forces have been on the offensive in Idlib in recent weeks but the push intensified after extremists shot down a Russian Su-25 fighter jet near the town of Saraqeb over the weekend.
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